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10 things you didn’t know about coconut oil


Coconut oil has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years… and with good reason.

It has antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, along with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits that make it a powerful aid to support skin and hair health, improve digestive disturbances and promote balancing of the immune system.

It contains medium-chain fatty acids like lauric and caprylic acid, which unlike regular saturated fats are actually beneficial for the body. They increase the metabolic rate, aiding in weight management, increase the level of good cholesterol and lower the level of bad cholesterol.

It can also assist in the balancing of insulin and blood sugar levels – giving you stable energy levels throughout the day.

We are all aware of how coconut oil is great as a skin moisturiser and teeth whitener (oil pulling has been widely-discussed in the press lately). Let’s not forget of course that it can be used for cooking savoury and sweet recipes. But there are many less known uses for it. And here are some you may have not come across.

Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about coconut oil

 

  • Bruise healer

Coconut oil speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues, to help a bruise to fade away faster. Just apply directly on the skin two or three times a day.

 

  • Age spots lightener

If used regularly, coconut oil helps reduce and prevent the appearance of age spots thanks to its antioxidant content. Massage the oil on the spots with circular movements.

 

  • Sunburn healing

Applied on skin, it has calming and cooling properties, as it contains lauric acid that helps the tissues heal. Redness, itching and swelling will be visibly reduced.

 

  • Homemade deodorant

Mixed with baking soda, arrowroot or cornstarch and essential oils, coconut oil makes a great natural deodorant thanks to its antimicrobial properties. Many recipes can be easily found online, just experiment to find your favourite.

 

  • Natural toothpaste

A similar principle to the deodorant process. When mixed with baking soda and peppermint or cinnamon essential oils, this makes a perfect toothpaste. You can add powdered xylitol to give a sweeter taste to it, and store in a glass jar. It has the same antibacterial effect as store-bought ones that contain synthetic ingredients.

 

  • Eye make-up remover

Simply warm up a teaspoon of coconut oil between your fingers until melted and then massage on your eyelids in circular motions. Wipe off with a wet washcloth or cotton, rinse with warm water and your eyes will be cleansed and fresh.

 

  • Hair conditioner

Coconut oil helps strengthen hair by stimulating blood circulation to the scalp and it brings out your hair’s natural shine. For best results, massage one tablespoon on your hair twice a week, leave overnight and shampoo as usual in the morning.

 

  • Help soothe psoriasis and eczema

Use internally and externally. Externally, massage onto skin to soothe dry flaky patches and psoriasis outbreaks – thanks to its anti-fungal and antibacterial power. Internally, consume one tablespoon a day to get the same powerful benefits in the gut – as intestinal flora imbalances are often linked to inflammation, which can lead to the development of skin conditions.

 

  • Aids clearing up of cold sores

Consume one tablespoon of coconut oil a day to help with the elimination of the virus from the body and shorten the length of outbreaks. Also put directly on the cold sore to prevent the crust from breaking and bleeding.

 

  • Reduces itch from mosquito bites

Coconut oil works very well to reduce itchiness and redness from a mosquito bite after a summer day spent in the park. Apply topically to experience fast relief.